Whether you’re nervous, scared, excited, or cheerful – here are some tips and tricks to help you succeed in a job interview.

By now you have probably read a million and one articles on interviewing. You may feel like it is a repetition. However, you’re only proving to yourself that you’re up for reaching out to resources. And, you’re attempting to find the help and connections you need to succeed. So, congrats! You’ve already gained a necessary skill to ace an interview.

First things first about an interview…

You need to show pro-activeness and a desire to continue in your own personal career growth. Showing your employer that you will be one to constantly reach out for assistance and independently research will not only show them your dedication, but your hard-working attitude.

To follow that up, showing off your positive character will help your employer see that you enjoy the work you do. Simply smiling and making casual conversation in the beginning will also show the employer that you are comfortable and willing to interact with others to create stronger connections.

Good posture and facial cues are often underrated. You want your employer to see you as a well put-together person. Avoid giving the impression that you’re the type who was rushing to the closest coffee shop in a desperate need to wake up. Also, you need to have good eye contact, and maintain it throughout. Furthermore, be sure to use interactive hand movements to express your passion. Lastly, show enthusiasm, but don’t go overboard. A good mix of relaxation with charisma goes a long way.

Come prepared

Organization and preparation is key, not only in an interview situation, but for life in general. Planning ahead and maintaining a neat schedule will make life easier. Even if you’re not a fan of routine work, your workplace will most likely go by a set task list from time-to-time. So, you need to have routine work down. Show the employer your organization skills through the way you present your activities and organize your portfolio. By doing so, they will know how you structure your work and collaboration once you’re in the office. Preparation goes right along with this, especially in an interview, as practice makes perfect!

Having knowledge of the company and its work environment will go a long way. Whether the employer asks if you have any knowledge or not, plan your answers and questions around what you’ve discovered in your research. Always think strategically to gain the advantage. You want to focus on the skills that matter, and right away! Additionally, be sure to have an understanding of the other employees you may be working with. This should be one of the first things you do, before even entering the interview office. What do they do? How do they do it? Much of this can be derived through the websites, social media, and industry articles from the company.

Appearance matters! Not only with your portfolio, but your wardrobe! First impressions can make or break you. Show your character through colors. Psychology plays a key role in representing the feelings of others and the way colors can create early judgements.

Always be yourself

Lastly, but possibly the most important, be genuine about your interests, skills, and what you are looking for in a job/workplace environment. Only you know what you gained from your internship(s), volunteer work, and other experiences. So, don’t sell yourself short. But, don’t over-exaggerate your skills either. Especially if you are not 100% knowledgeable/proficient in them. It is okay to say that you still need to learn some things. A mindset of learning is a great asset.

Now that you have finished reading this, take this information with you and go ace that interview!

If you’re looking to add to your credentials, UMBC’s Division of Professional Studies has a variety of graduate and certificate courses with an applied learning format. Visit our Professional Programs site to learn more.

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